In.gredients – The First Zero Waste Grocery Store


The in.gredients store logo (src)

This is some seriously awesome stuff coming out of Austin, TX:

Just like many people bring tote bags to the grocery store, shoppers at In.gredients will be encouraged to bring their own containers to pack up items like grains, oils, and dairy. If a shopper doesn’t have his own containers, the store will provide compostable ones. It’s as if the specialty bulk food section rebelled and took over the rest of a traditional grocery store. In.gredients will replace unhealthy, overpackaged junk with local, organic, and natural foods, and moonlight as a community center with cooking classes, gardening workshops, and art shows on the side. [from Good]

How cool is that? Everything in the store is in a bulk bin. Whole Foods and some health food stores do this, and it’s awesome (though a certain nutty food store in Louisville refused to let me use my own containers!) but to make a whole store that way…wow! And the containers they do offer are, of course, compostable.

TheirĀ blog/website is a whirlwind of green ideas and activism, and they’re also choosing to go with the popular sub-domain-as-a-marketing-gimic URL of “in dot gredients dot com.” Hey, whatever. They could call themselves and I’d go there! Here’s what they plan to offer:

  • Produce
  • Organic grains (rice, beans, oats, cereals, and the like)
  • Spices (enough to fill your spice cabinet)
  • Loose leaf tea and coffee beans
  • Dried fruits and nuts
  • Natural baking ingredients (flours, sugars, yeast, etc)
  • Oils (olive, vinegar, and so forth)
  • Dairy (milk, yogurt, eggs, cheese)
  • Local beer and wine (bring your clean and empty growlers and wine bottles)
  • Household items (cleaners, toiletries, etc)

All while making sure there is either no packaging, or it’s recyclable (and required for food safety; I’m thinking this only applies to lame items like milk or cheese). Also, products with either be directly local (central Texas) or sourced locally, such as a local roaster for coffee beans (but the beans come from somewhere else). Finally, products are either 1) organic or 2) all-natural when organic isn’t available. Now, “natural” doesn’t mean shit, but given the credo of this place, let’s hope they don’t think Red 40 isn’t natural. I have no reason to they think do, and wish them the best of luck.

If you’re in Austin this month, go check ’em out! They should be open soon. For the rest of us, perhaps one day this idea will spread to your city! Reduce, reuse, recycle. Simple words that make a huge impact.


  • Mygiant Agj

    This is very awesome. I was stoked to learn that the U.S. is getting it’s first zero-waste store; Britain opened one some months back, and I’m honestly surprised to see America’s answer coming from Texas. Good ol’ progressive, hipstomatic Austin!

    • Sam

      Hahaha, yep! I want to go there some day.